London: The controversial former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair termed the Pakistan cricketers as "cheats, frauds and liars" and criticised the International Cricket Council (ICC), the world governing body, for refusing to act despite apparent evidence that Shoaib Akhtar tampered with the ball, during the ODI against England at the Rose Bowl, last Wednesday.
Hair, who stood in 78 Tests and 135 one-day internationals, also told a British daily that he feels vindicated following Pakistan`s troubled tour of England, which was overshadowed by the "spot fixing" scandal when players were accused of deliberately bowling no-balls. Pakistan`s Test captain, Salman Butt, and his team-mates Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif were suspended and returned home early.
The Australian`s career was ruined by his stance in the controversial Oval Test in August 2006 during Pakistan`s last tour of England, when a Test match was forfeited for the first time, following accusations that Inzamam ul-Haq`s team had tampered with the ball.
Hair retired in 2008 because of the fall-out from the incident. The Pakistan players returned home late last week after the most troubled tour in modern cricket history. Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), reiterated his refusal to apologise for smearing England players` reputations.
Butt said there had been "loud and clear talk in bookies` circles that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose the third one-day international."
He made the allegations after the ICC said they were investigating the third ODI for suspicious scoring patterns by Pakistan. Nadeem Sarwar, the PCB media manager, told a Pakistan newspaper that there was no question of Butt apologising.
Hair said of the tour: "The fans, viewers and crowds have been watching cheats and liars. How long will they continue to part with their money to watch manipulated matches and players cheating. The ICC should be ashamed to allow these matches to take place." Shoaib was apparently caught on camera interfering with the ball and Hair said: "Regardless of irrefutable evidence of ball tampering the ICC still choose not to take action, which is unsurprising given their record and inability to control their own game. `The game must always go on` seems to be their motto.
"Unfortunately the Pakistan cricketers show no respect for the game and continually attempt to cheat. The game as currently being played by Pakistan is a hoax and a fraud to the public."
On the fourth day of the Oval Test in 2006, Hair and West Indies umpire Billy Doctrove ruled that Pakistan had tampered with the ball and awarded England five penalty runs and offered the batsmen a replacement ball. When Pakistan refused to resume play after tea in proTest at the decision the umpires left the field, informed Pakistan they must return, then walked back out to the middle.
When Pakistan did not do so Hair removed the bails and England were declared winners by forfeiture. Pakistan did retake the field 25 minutes later but while England were also willing to resume, Hair and Doctrove refused. Hair`s career was effectively ruined when a few days later the ICC made public his offer to resign in exchange for $500,000 for what he considered his projected lost earnings.
following year Hair took the ICC to an employment tribunal, claiming racial discrimination, after the governing body had banned him from officiating in November 2006.
While that case was settled out of court and Hair did umpire two more Tests, he then retired.
Asked if he now felt vindicated Hair said: "Yes. Maybe now more and more people will understand why I acted like I did in 2006."
When contacted the ICC declined to comment.